Meet the darts girls
skysports.com meets the girls who are bringing a touch of glamour to Alexandra Palace.
Last Updated: 22/12/10 4:10pm
They're the duo that bring a touch of glamour to the World Darts Championship.
Jess Simpson and Jess Berry are the walk-on girls you'll see accompanying the players to the stage before the start of every match.
The blonde bombshells are no strangers to the sport - Simpson has worked on all of the main PDC events, while Berry made her debut at this year's World Match Play in Blackpool - and they are now ready for the biggest stage of all.
skysports.com caught up with the duo at Alexandra Palace to get their thoughts on wolf whistles, darts players and the role of women in the sport.
How do you become a walk-on girl and what sort of attributes do you need for the job?
Jess S: We work for an agency called Angels Elite, which is run Sue Knight and Karen Jean Cookson. They were the first ever darts walk-on girls back in the day.
Jess B: You've got to have a bit of personality, be able to deal with the banter and be able to hold yourself. You need to be professional always.
Is it difficult to be professional when there are thousands of darts fans screaming all around you?
Jess S: You just need to get your game head on, but it's hard sometimes when they'll be shouting things at you or holding signs up saying: "marry me." You just have to ignore it, but it comes with the territory.
Jess B: I just talk to the darts player and ask him of he's ok or if he's nervous because he's going to be nervous as well. They get booed if they're not liked, so you kind of need to look after them before they go out. That's part of the job.
Who are your favourite players to walk on with?
Jess S: I think Co Stompe's brilliant. He's got such a lovely personality, he's dead down to earth and he's a funny person. I like him, but they're all fine. On the first night of the World Championship I had Phil Taylor and they had a real major build-up with lightning and stuff. That was really good.
Jess B: I like Barney. I walked him on in Blackpool and he was really nice. It was my first time and I was a bit nervous, but he was saying: "It will be ok, it will be ok". That was good fun. And I like Jelle Klaasen as well. We were saying before he's the best looking of the bunch, but he's also very good. He's got really fast darts.
Talk us through a typical day for you at the World Darts Championship.
Jess B: We'd get here for 4pm, go to hair and make-up, go and choose the dresses and then go and have some tea with everyone, the PDC family.
Jess S: We bring our own dresses, so we always try and co-ordinate with each other as best we can. We have to text each other beforehand.
Jess B: Then we'll do a walk on, go and get changed for the next one and then wait in the press room. Some matches are quicker than others, so we always have to be ready to be dragged out.
What do you think of the role of walk-on girls in darts? Do you think it's a positive thing?
Jess S: I think it's fab. It brings a bit of glamour to the occasion.
Jess B: And it's not tacky at all. We're not going out in bikinis, we're going out in nice dresses with classy hair. It takes the seedy element away from it and adds a glamorous touch to darts.
Are either of you any good at darts?
Jess S:Mine never even go in the board. It always goes straight over. I think I might have to ask some of the players for advice!
Jess B: I think I got mine on the board once - and when I did it was hanging out. I'm obviously not throwing it right. We won't be playing in the World Championship any time soon.
Do you think a female player could ever get up there with the men and win the World Darts Championship?
Jess B: I don't see why not. Definitely, woman power and all that! It would make for a nice mixture.
Jess S: Then maybe we could have some male walk-on models in the building. That would be nice.